16Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness.
17I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.
18I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts.
19For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.2
20All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.
21Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?
22So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?
1 Hebrew what has been pursued
2 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (see note on 1:2)